“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
– Marcus Aurelius
Happiness: we all want it. We crave it in our lives, and work hard to achieve a happier future. But very often it eludes us. Why is that?
I love the above quote by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. It describes our path to happiness in the simplest of ways. And in fact, that is what happiness actually is – very simple. The problem is, we insist on making it more difficult than it is.
These days, people frequently attach their happiness to another person or a goal or possession. It is seen as something to strive for, which is no bad thing. But when our happiness depends on it, this isn’t so good. If I could buy that new car, then it would make me so happy. If so-and-so agreed to go out with me, then my life would be complete. Too easily, we relinquish control of our own happiness and allow other people or things to dictate the path our life will take.
This is the quickest way to unhappiness. Believe me – I have been there.
Striving towards an illusion of happiness is not guaranteed to bring you happiness. I’m not saying it won’t bring you happiness, but this can never be guaranteed. By expecting this to happen, you are setting yourself up for a fall. Because, and I’m not saying that it definitely won’t happen, but what if it doesn’t?
Does that mean you can’t be happy?
Happiness should never be based on outside influences. Yes, people or things can certainly provide you with a level of happiness, but true happiness must come from within.
First and foremost, you must be happy with yourself. And the only way we can truly be happy with ourselves is to believe it.
When Marcus Aurelius said that happiness comes from within, in your way of thinking, he was right.
Yes, it’s that simple. Believe that you are happy, and you will be.